I decided to develop a list of restaurants that we hadn’t been to in years or that we’d never been to and then take on the challenge of dining at each of them over the next few months. Some of them were the result of my negative comments about BBQ in East Tennessee, some came from research or a mental list we’d already put together and others were suggested by our neighborhood restaurant mavens, Linda and Norm.
The list is evolving with the count being at 30 so far. I’ve already posted blogs about Fat Hats in Sweetwater, Fat Stacks in Madisonville and The Iron Skillet in Knoxville. The next stop was in Vonore Tennessee…
The Countryside Restaurant is a local fixture in Vonore near the intersection of TN Hwy. 72 and US Hwy. 411. This restaurant is usually packed at lunchtime as well as the evenings on the weekend.
Countryside Restaurant sits back from the highway and it looks very appealing with a bit of landscaping and a large parking lot. As per their website, "Countryside offers a little bit of something for everyone."
There are 3 dining rooms, one in the front, this one in the center and another off to the right. We were there for dinner on a weeknight and they weren’t very busy. It’s important to note that Countryside Restaurant has been open since 1991…that’s 25 years…or an eternity in restaurant parlance!
Dinners came with a salad. The lettuce was a little tired but they certainly didn’t skimp on the blue cheese dressing. We felt that the salads were OK.
Our waitress was very young and not very confident or well informed. She really didn’t know what various dishes consisted of and she brought our warm dinner rolls when we were almost finished with dinner. FYI…the rolls were served with honey flavored butter.
Laurie felt like having soup. As per our waitress, the soup of the day was “Loaded Baked Potato”…but she couldn’t tell us what that meant. Laurie thought that it was OK but it could have been warmer. ($2.95)
For her entrée, Laurie chose the Country Fried Chicken Breast with Gravy. ($9.95) She actually liked the white pepper gravy but she was disappointed with the chicken breast…a boneless ‘formed’ piece of white meat. She’d hoped for a ‘real’ chicken breast. Her side dish of choice was the potato salad. It was pretty good! American style with paprika on top. She at it all. It was the best part of her meal!
Other available sides include a baked potato, green beans, pinto beans, baked beans, rice pilaf, French fries, whipped potatoes, fried okra, coleslaw, turnip greens or corn.
I went for a tried and true favorite of mine…the Country Fried Steak with Gravy. ($9.25) For my side, I chose the whipped potatoes with more of that gravy. I brought my own bottle of Tabasco. The potatoes were OK and I did like that white pepper gravy. As for the country fried steak, I’d have to say that it falls in the lower quartile of all of the chicken fried steaks I’ve eaten.
We felt that the Countryside Restaurant was pretty much average…really just a ‘fuel stop’. The food was just OK and we avoid “OK” restaurants. I also found it annoying that the servers who were at the front of the restaurant spent a lot of time engaged in loud personal conversations…
Back to my initial observation…Countryside Restaurant has been around for a long time and it seems to be very popular. Maybe we missed something. Prices are reasonable. The menu includes steaks, 11 other entrees, 1 of which is their popular Country Style Fish plus 11 sandwiches or burgers.
Countryside Restaurant is located at 2021 US Hwy. 411 in Vonore Tennessee. Phone: 423-884-6673. Website: www.countrysiderestaurant.com.
Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…
Thanks for stopping by to see what we had for dinner!
Take Care, Big Daddy Dave